On October 14, 2015, a St. Louis judge declared the city’s planned minimum wage increase invalid because it conflicts with the state minimum wage, currently set at $7.65 per hour. In August, the City of St. Louis passed an ordinance that would have eventually raised the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour by 2018. The first increase to $8.25 per hour was set to take effect on October 15, 2015.
There is almost never such a thing as a magic word anymore. In medieval England, people would recite things three times to get magical protection (“third time’s the charm”). Similarly, in the earliest days of the law, parties would write contracts “under seal” that protected them, regardless of whether the contract was otherwise valid. That is what a magic word does; it protects you just by being there. Today, the law hates magic words; courts constantly dig into the hidden meaning behind material terms and the intent and understanding of the parties who use them. Because there is almost never such a thing as a magic word these days, when one does occur business owners would do well to take note.